I just spent a great deal of money.
My three year old laptop gave me 6 blue screens before it turned on yesterday. (It has been giving me blue screens every other time I turn it on, but this is the worst it's ever done.) Now I'm afraid to turn it off. I left it on last night. I have a little 2GB flash disk stuck into it, and any time I do any work, I try to copy it over to the flash disk. But I haven't backed up all my photos or music yet--which take up a lot of space and will take up a lot of cds. I also haven't figured out how to back up outlook express or my other email organizing system--which is quite important.
So, in looking on all these deal sites, I see all these cheap laptops, but by the time I add the hard drive space, the memory, the warranty, and the extra strong battery (which this summer I discovered is very important for me) that I want, it propells it up past the mark I thought I wouldn't go. I can't really afford it, according to the budget that I created for this year (I was planning on less)... but I also can't afford to be without a laptop--and if I am going to buy a laptop, then I need to be practical and make sure I'm not just getting a chintzy one because I'm being cheap. I've learned from my current one, what features are important to have--ie. extra strong battery, a lot of hard drive space, etc.
What insideous things computers are. They worm their ways into our lives and we cannot live without them. And then we spend lots of money for something that is ready to die in 3 years.